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PS4: No gimps please.

There's no question that the PS4 is more powerful than the Xbox One. The only thing we don't know about the PS4 (when it comes to specs) is how many GB of RAM it uses for games. I think it's 6GB? Let me know in the comments. But that's not the point of this blog. What's the point of it? To talk about what the PS4's 50% power advantage will actually throughout this generation.

Obviously, 1st party games are going to be the best showcase of the PS4's power from all studios. As it is, we already have infamous: Second Son and The Order: 1886, which have some of the most stunning visuals I've seen so far for next gen (obviously the Division looks just as good). infamous Second Son especially surprised me due to the fact that it's an open world game. Along with amazing graphical output, we're also gonna see a lot more expansive games from Sony's first party studios. So no worries there.

The problem here is 3rd party publishers, not even developers. Why? Because of this:
"if the PS4 version shipped with an obviously superior resolution and framerate; better to “castrate” the PS4 version and release near-identical games to avoid ruffling any feathers."
That's the problem. If the PS4 version of the game is obviously better, then tension would grow between the publisher and MS. So to please them, they'll try to gimp the PS4 version as much as possible to make the two versions nearly identical.
I have a VERY big problem with that. The XBO is essentially holding the PS4 back. In 2-3 years, PS4 will show a more clear difference, but probably not to the full extent.
The funny thing is, it's ok for the Wii U versions of games look worse and have a smaller mode selection than current gen consoles and it's fine for the PC version to look miles better, with better frame rate, textures and if you've got the specs for it, running at 4K, but when it comes between the PS4 and XBO versions, they have to be identical. Why? Because M$ have deep pockets. And you know what pisses me off even more? That it was fine for the 360 to have better multiplats for a while. Obviously it was because it was easier to develop for, but the PS4 is more powerful and easier to develop for than the XBO, there is no reason that the PS4 should have better multiplats. But again, because MS has a lotta money, it probably won't be the case.

There is a way that we can make it happen though. Whether it be through forums or twitter, we need to make sure devs and publishers understand that we don't want gimped versions of our games on PS4 because of the XBO. This will be reinforced if the PS4 has a significantly higher install base (which it most likely will). But either way, we need to make sure. I'm not a graphics whore, but I'm not gonna pay $60 for a gimped game, one of the many reasons people aren't excited about the Wii U.

As for Japanese developers, this isn't too much of a problem, seeing as most are just making 3rd party exclusives for the PS4. But regarding ones like SE who are making next gen multiplats, I'm not 100% sure of. I'll use KH3 and FF15 as examples.
KH3 and FF15 are being developed on a level that both the PS4 and XBO are not capable of and then being directly ported down to both consoles. I'm guessing that Nomura's trying to maximize each console to see which one can replicate the original version the best, which will obviously be PS4. On top of that, I pretty sure SE knows that both games aren't gonna sell well on the XBO, especially in Japan. I estimate: 4 copies of the XBO versions. So they won't have much of a problem with that. But even then, I am still a bit pissed that they're coming to the XBO. Why? Because they'll just take even longer to come out. I've waited for Final Fantasy XV for years (KH3 is not a game I've been waiting for that long since DDD came out last year, but still) and I'm not really happy that it's gonna take even longer because of the XBO. But after KH3 and FF15... eh that's for another blog.

The point is, I'm not gonna just sit back and let the XBO hold back the PS4. And don't forget, we're not just talking about graphics and frame rate, we're talking about scale, AI, collision detection, physics all of that stuff. Obviously, the difference won't be amazing visible at launch regardless.

So really guys, let's just make all these publishers to show off the PS4's true power and to not gimp the PS4 versions of these multiplats (Yes, yes, I know Dathreats beat me to it, but I was working on and off for this blog)

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TwistingWords3002d ago (Edited 3002d ago )

Could you clutch those straws a little tighter.

The PS3 is supposedly more powerful than the 360, yet all of the exclusives on the PS3 don't do anything above and beyond what multiplat games haven't already achieved in terms of scope, I suppose MS paid them too yeah? Sure it might have a few more shiny graphics on some games, but at the cost of AA, screen resolution and vise versa.

iamnsuperman3002d ago (Edited 3002d ago )

We must remember the PS3 was an arse of a thing for developing. It was only in the last years of the development cycle of the PS3 did we see what it can do over its competitor. The issue with multiplatfrom games on the PS3 is easily attributed to how hard games are to develop on it. We had a generation of developing on a weaker (in some areas) platform then porting it across (often poorly done. Same thing has happened to the PC). I think it will be interesting to see this generation when development isn't such a chore.

Some developers still don't know how to develop for the PS3 and some have only just finally figured it out (non Sony owned studios as Sony own studios have been pushing the platform for a number of years)

wishingW3L3001d ago (Edited 3001d ago )

but those complications didn't stop Sony from hyping up the power of the Cell just like they are doing now with the PS4. And the truth is that MS will always have the better tools for game development because of Windows and directX. That's the environment most games developers are accustomed to on top of the fact that the differences in power are nowhere near as big as the PS2 vs the Xbox.

The Xbox was literally a generation ahead of the PS2 while the PS4's only slightly more powerful than the XB1. Even if they gimp or don't the differences are going to be minimal just like this gen, where if you did not have both versions back to back and some expert telling you the differences nobody would have even noticed that most multiplats ran better on the Xbox 360 unless the case was extreme like with Bayonetta running at half the frame-rate and with ridiculous loading times.

The anon devs from Edge's article said this: "a platform-agnostic development build can run at around 30FPS in 1920×1080 on PS4, but it’ll run at “20-something” FPS in 1600×900 on Xbox One."

^^^ that's no huge difference if you ask me. If you tell me that you can see the difference between "1920×1080" vs "1600×900" then you're either lying or have bionic eyes that can count pixels, and not to mention the difference between 30 frames and 20-25 frames. So anything the PS4 can do the XB1 can do it too and that's why I wouldn't be too concerned about games being gimped.

bromtown3001d ago

@wishingW3L it's devs that are saying the tools on the Xbox One are horrible! Also just because Microsoft make Windows doesn't mean they have an advantage, it's a completely different division of MS, like PlayStation and Sony Pictures are completely different divisions of the same company.

I agree that devs are used to Direct X but that's on all formats and has been for ages so being from Microsoft the benefit a individual will have is negligible unless they actually worked on rather than with Direct X.

And I don't have bionic eyes but I can certainly see the difference between 20-25 and 30 fps as can most people I imagine.

Ulf2999d ago (Edited 2999d ago )

The PS4 is easier to use than the PS3, yes. It's not easier than the XB1, however, which shares the same APIs with Windows 8. That API sharing is a huge huge deal, even if the multithreading job issues with the SPUs are now out of the picture.

Be careful when you state "easier (than the PS3)" and try to imply that to mean "easier (than the XB1)"... because the implication is untrue.

SnakeCQC3001d ago

first party games show the true strength of any system. With the ps3 vs 360; the ps3 wins hands down. The games look far more impressive and it took m$ so long into the gen to release an actual 720p halo, as halo 3 was 670p halo odst was 670p and even when halo reach was released it was 1152x720 not the 12080 by 720p. Ever realised why? The use of insanely high end pcs could point to a similar story with xb1.

NeloAnjelo3001d ago

The only side clutching at straws are MS... remember now we don't have DRM anymore, we'll send out Nelson across the conuntry for PR because we so badly need it... At one time even our execs didn't know what the console does, or how.

Let's up clock it so it can be a bit faster and a bit more powerful.

No one can argue that in terms of raw specs, the PS4 is faster and more powerful. FACT. The degree or percentage difference is yet to be agreed upon.

bromtown3001d ago

EA will definitely gimp a version if there's a big enough discrepancy, especially since they're in bed with MS. But I think mostly it'll be like it was with the Original Xbox and the PS2 where games like Splinter Cell took advantage of the extra power..
Also, with the switch to x86 I think games will be developed differently, they'll start for high end PC and just switch things off until it runs smoothly - so if the PS4 is as well endowed as people say it'll have higher resolution textures and a higher frame rate etc, just generally more things happening due to the ram and the bandwidth being constant.

wtopez3001d ago

Again with this nonsense.

maniacmayhem3001d ago

Every post I read from you, you always say the best version of FF and KH will be on PS4.

Where is this proof and why do you even think this when you know it's not true at all.

And didn't Da Threats just post a similar blog that isn't even a week old?

You guys need to give this "50%" a rest because so far no one is seeing this extra power.

If you truly are afraid of gimping then you should be concerned about the PC crowd. Because wouldn't the same logic be applied to console gimping the PC version?

Of course not because when talking about PC is off limits or you'll be labeled a PC elitist.

GamingTruth3001d ago

no cause to me developers naturally try to make pc versions better on purpose so i dont think pc is ever gimped

xKugo2995d ago

A PC will gimp itself simply because of the OS and too many different PC configurations for developers to optimize for. Like me for example, I have i7 4770k clocked at 4.1Ghz and a GTX 780. Unfortuanately, I will never see what those specific parts are capable of because a developer will never develop a game around those specific parts. That just a cold hard fact, my friend.

Ulf3001d ago (Edited 3001d ago )

I can think of at least four serious issues present with your desire for "non-gimped" PS4 editions of games.

1) Games share a codebase, except for platform-specific stuff, like a rendering engine, or online service interfaces. They ALSO share assets -- i.e. models, textures, and everything inbetween. It would be foolhardy for a developer to spend extra money on ONE version, when they can make assets that work on all versions much more cheaply.

Any extra GPU muscle the PS4 has will HAVE to be used for fancier shader tech, or very GPU-friendly GPGPU work, and that's pretty much it. In the end... that's not going to produce the fantastic visual differences you seem to be looking for.

2) The CPU, and CPU memory practical access speed, of the PS4 is WORSE than the XB1's. It's a sad truth, but many of the really awesome games we've seen this gen, like Skyrim, GTA4, and a host of others, are CPU-bound, and not GPU-bound at all, as demonstrated many times over by places like Tom's Hardware and Anandtech.

GPGPU can't simply be thrown at a lack of CPU muscle, since it just doesn't work for a very large set of problems, and, on top of that, again this entails extra expense for the sake of a single platform. Not gonna happen. Games will be tailored to the PS4's weaker CPU architecture, and the XB1's extra CPU muscle will be left to rot, except in exclusives.

3) The RSX had about a 30% pixel and texel advantage, on paper, over the Xenos. But the Xenos had that eDRAM. The end result was that the XB1 managed to pull very close to the PS3, even with the PS3 Cell pulling out a lot of GPU work, and the RSX numerical advantage, along with the PS3's XDR bandwidth. This is not all that different than the last gen. I don't think the differences can/will be as pronounced as people seem to believe.

4) As more horsepower is thrown at the problem of rendering an image, the returns seem less and less for the investment. This is a pretty well known function of human-machine interface psychology. i7's are, supposedly, a good 2x as fast, on paper, as the fastest Core 2 quads... but it doesn't really feel like that, most of the time, does it? The GTX 680 has 2-3x the on paper, numerical muscle of the old pair of GTX 275s I used to run... but you know what? I can hardly tell the difference in the same games.

Psychology, and perception, play a much bigger role that most people care to admit. Don't knock the publishers for not "using the PS4 to its fullest", when it's unlikely that you could even see the difference... and keeping disc prices from hitting $70 is in both your and their best interests!

devwan3001d ago

Personally, as far as multiplats go, it's not going to be a matter of gimping a game that performs better on one platform, but just setting the bar realistically low to attain something like parity between formats. Gimping, to me, suggests removal of features/advantages in order to make something lesser than it was. That's not likely to happen, but the end result of aiming for "OK" instead of "really quite nice" is effectively the same.

As for the points above:

1. Assets - Superior potential of very high end PC specs will always dictate asset quality. For ps4 & xbox one, it's a matter of how much of the original content they will be able to make use of without downgrading it - the more that stays original the less costs involved.

2. When did Sony announce the clock rate of their CPU? Please don't state opinion as fact, even if it is more likely to be so than not, those figures are not public so we'll have to wait and see.

3. Irrelevant really. ps4 architecture simplicity and raw power vs xbox one allows developers to target the hardware with much less effort or jumping through hoops, in some of the examples we have heard about staggeringly so. This, above all else, is why multiplats have the potential to look better and suffer less on ps4, whether they will or not is the debate at hand.

4. Did you make a point there? Comparing one lot of PC specs with another is somewhat useful in that arena, and both consoles might be based on PC hardware, but their implementations and closed system approaches, by their nature, will lead to potentially large performance gains compared with "on paper" PC specs.

As for the psychology of it all and keeping games away from $70, that's nonsense isn't it? It's the hard work devs will have to put into xbox one versions of games to achieve parity that has the potential to inflate production costs... or maybe that's where we see the potential for gimping - is gimping removing something from a superior version of a game or is it just setting the bar realistically low to achieve some kind of parity with less effort? Over time, if this occurs, it will be tolerated less and less, as 3rd party titles are going to look worse and worse vs platform exclusives on the stronger platform. This is when it'll get interesting...seeing which publishers will be prepared to push the boundaries of one platform instead of holding it back vs pushing the boundaries of the weaker one to barely achieve parity.

xKugo2995d ago

Very, very educated comment.
Developers are going to faced with a very big issue in about 3 years time, if the gap in power between the two is as large as some developers and tech sites seem to think it is. Do you risk pissing off Microsoft with their limiting policies or do you piss of the people actually buying the games, the gamers and possibly losing both their money and respect. I agree, it should be quite interesting.

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